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Covered California Says Exchange Rates Will Rise an Average 8.7%

Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act announced on Thursday that 2019 rates will rise an average of 8.7 percent, one of the more “modest” increases nationwide, according to media reports.

The increases, in part, are due to the elimination of the individual mandate to buy health insurance, the state said.

“Carriers added between 2.5 and 6 percent to their rates, with an average of 3.5 percent, due to concerns that the removal of the penalty will lead to a less healthy and costlier consumer pool,” Covered California said in a statement.

Rising health costs also were to blame. A bigger increase was offset by the state’s efforts to enroll younger, less expensive participants into the program, the state said.

About 1.4 million residents are covered through Covered California plans. Blue Shield of California participates in Covered California and is the only health insurer to offer plans in every ZIP code in the state.

Here is a link to the Covered California announcement.

Here’s what some of the media is saying:

You’ll pay more for insurance in 2019, but rate hikes aren’t as bad as this year The Fresno Bee

California health insurance premiums to rise an average of nearly 9% in 2019 San Francisco Chronicle

Covered California premiums will rise on average 8.7% Sacramento Bee

Covered California’s health insurance premiums will rise 8.7% in 2019 Los Angeles Times